In the Internet of everything, how do we secure the digital world?  Is our data security and privacy in jeopardy?  These are some of the toughest questions in the digital age.  On Feb. 13, President Obama set forth his goals for protecting America against cyber threats.  In an age where trillions of dollars travel the digital super-highway, where millions of Americans live in a digitally interconnected world, and where everything from our country’s critical infrastructure to intellectual property are online, President Obama’s cybersecurity summit focused on a mission to  help put America on course towards securing our digital livelihoods.

President Obama called for better collaboration between private entities and the government.  With close to 80% of the digital landscape owned by private entities, the President sought collaboration from private and government parties to help address the shared vision of a secure and safe cyberspace.  The President outlined the importance of information sharing and intelligence to help thwart cyber-attacks.

The private sector and governments “can’t do it alone,” the President said.  In an effort to promote collaboration, the President also signed an executive order calling for a common set of standards for information sharing and attaining classified information.

In an effort to further protect the American consumer, President Obama also called for a consumer privacy bill of rights that would protect the privacy and the civil liberties of Americans.  The President also supported a national standard, where consumers whose personal information was stolen would be notified within 30 days.  Currently, state laws mostly dictate those terms.

Here in Indianapolis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation hosted a National Cybersecurity Summit Open House.  The event was attended by agencies from the Indiana state government, the Department of Justice and various groups from academia and private corporations, as well as Ice Miller attorneys.

The Open House presented opportunities for private and government entities to share ideas and express challenges in addressing the issues presented by cyber threats.  Echoing President Obama’s sentiments that cybersecurity was a “challenge that we can only meet together,” the various state and federal agencies helped educate the audience on the complexity of the issues we face and the incredible undertaking that will be required to protect America’s online privacy and civil liberties.   Data security and privacy should be a critical focus for any organization that operates in cyberspace.  Given the challenges, it is important for every type of organization to understand and evaluate their data security and privacy posture.  Our online presence has become a cornerstone of life.  Solidifying a data security and privacy posture across both the government and private sectors is crucial for our future.